Friday, May 23, 2014

Something Blue

You know when you see something and totally want to buy it but then you look at it and think, "I could make that"? And then you do, and it turns out better than you thought it would?

We've all seen Stacy's amazing Mason Jar Planter Wall Board. I've always loved it and wanted to make one.

Stacy's Mason Jar Planter Board

Then a few weeks ago while at Target, I saw this cute little number by their Threshold line.

Target's Wall Plaque with Jars
I almost bought it. Twice.

The first time I talked myself out of it because I wasn't planning to spend $25 on something not "necessary". The next time I had mentioned it to my husband who said, "Why don't you just make one?" He also said I should buy it if I wanted to, so later in the week I went back to get it.

It really is adorable, Target's version. But I kinda wanted blue jars. and I wanted the board part to be longer and narrower. And I wanted jars that said Ball or Mason... It all added up to me buying a 6-pack of blue pint sized jars and leaving the wall board at Target.

I searched our wood pile and found a piece the right size, painted it white and distressed it with a sander. I added a little stain to make the distressed edges nice and dark and weathered.

I made a trip to Lowe's and browsed for something that might work to hold the jars in place. I found u-bolts and hoped they would work!

Gary had to spread the u-bolts a little so they would go around the jars. He also cut the ends of the bolts because they stuck out about an inch on the back of the board. Just so you know.

All in all, I'm thrilled with how the board turned out! The jars are so pretty, and I've been able to find good uses for them.

You know how when you change one thing you change something else in this domino effect? I just that, and that awkward space between the super-high medicine cabinet and the backsplash is a little happier.

The jar board kicked the little square mirror out of his home, so I hung him below my clock. I actually take that mirror off its nail to check the back of my head when I do my hair, as the bathroom has no other way to see back there!

Of course there's more I would do to the bathroom if the house was ours, but it's not. In the meanwhile my pretty blue jar board will keep me focused on what works rather than what doesn't!

If you'd like a pretty blue canning jar trio to hang on your wall, you can visit my Etsy shop!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Treasure Hunt Creatures

I didn't plan to turn yesterday's Rainy Day Treasure Hunt into a two-part post, but the adorable little critters we made after one of the hunts are just too cute not to post!

On this slightly rainy day, I gave each child a bag for treasures. When they weren't hunting for worms...

or balancing on curbs...

... the children collected small rocks, a couple sticks, pinecones, a piece of broken pottery.

I don't have a picture of the next couple of steps, so you'll have to imagine what it looks like to wash up the little treasures and let them dry on a towel. ;) When the little things were dry, I glued a set of eyes on it!

I love how whimsical and charming they are!

The boys like making up names and stories with the little critters.

 So there you have it! A quick little craft for a rainy day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rainy Day Treasure Hunt

I don't know about you, but rainy days when kids are inside all day are the longest, hardest days ever! How did we make it through winter? Anyway, lately I've been making sure my kids and daycare kids still get some fresh air and exercise without getting too muddy.

My boys could spend hours searching the gutters and curbs for earthworms, but sometimes we up the ante by collecting treasures! On this day it was actually raining and we only had one extra sweetie, so I gave the kids bags and let them collect whatever they wanted, within reason.

We found rocks, pinecones, sticks, and a few other things. When we got home we washed them up and set them on a towel to dry. After a few hours I deemed them dry enough and out came the hot glue gun and googly eyes!

On another day I had two extra boys which meant the group had a little more... energy. It wasn't raining at the moment, so I grabbed these dollar store raincoats my mom sends us (love them! great for tucking in the car or bag for the zoo or something!), took two seconds on Pinterest, and got a list of great things for the boys to look for.


I loosely based it on a list like this and just carried one list myself and told the boys one thing at a time to look for. It was fun and kept everyone focused.

I'm collecting egg cartons so I can do something like this but I'll probably make it less rainbow and more detailed like the list. We'll see.

How do you and your kids stay busy and sane on rainy days?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Simple Solutions: Canning Jar Lids and Straws

Guys, I'm in love.

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen a few of my recent posts with some sort of beverage in a canning jar with a straw. Chocolate smoothie, herbal tea with lemon, iced coffee with Truvia and half 'n half... And when we moved out of our home in Iowa, I started using canning jars as our glassware. They're so much harder to break, and quite trendy too!

I've seen adorable lids on Etsy and almost bought myself some, but my husband said he could make some for me. But Target and Ball saved the day!

Sometimes after a busy day of babysitting, I take a 5- or 10-dollar bill and head to Target to unwind. Seriously, my trio is challenging enough, then add in a few more kids that belong to other people? Some days are downright difficult! But this day, the clouds parted and there were rainbows and unicorns when I saw these white jar lids and straws! They are sold in a 4-pack for about $4. I got the wide mouth version and have since gone back for the narrow mouth ones too.

These are great for helping keep liquids inside your jar and bugs and small fingers out. I plopped this big guy in the drink holder on my double jogger when we took a long walk to the park. It was perfect! No spills or splashes and I could rehydrate without stopping to take the lid off of my jar.

On this picnic last week, I filled a jar for each of my boys with iced herbal tea sweetened with honey. They loved having their own jars!

By the way, the Ball lids come with white and green striped straws. I got this set of blue ones also at Target. I like them because they're blue they have a small ring around the bottom which prevents them from getting pulled out of the the lid and getting lost or chewed on or used as digging tools at the park. Not that anyone I know would do that...

So there you go! Run out and get some!

*I wasn't perked or paid to say this, neither Ball nor Target know I exist, but maybe they should!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Josiah's Birthday

This is what THREE looks like!

Just like Jonathan's birthday a week before, we snuck a quick run to Starbucks in before our first babysitting client came over. Josiah chose apple juice instead of the suggested hot chocolate, not that I mind!

Since most of the day was taken up with a very full babysitting schedule, I included a few recent pictures of Josiah to show all of our long-distance friends and family just how huge my baby is getting! 

Josiah keeps right up with his brothers and can really hold his own! He's tough yet so sweet, probably the sweetest, gentlest of my three boys.

Yet this kiddo has a crazy sense of humor and can get other kids laughing in seconds! His antics really are hilarious.

When we asked Josiah where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner, he said, "Umm, pancakes." So we did! Gary got this picture of Josiah being very serious about his food. He would smile in between clicks, but this is the best picture we got! When I posted it on Instagram (gibsongirl726) I titled it, Step away from my pancakes and no one gets hurt!

On Jared's birthday we got a fish tank but the people at PetCo said we should have it running for about a week before putting fish in. So on Jonathan's birthday we got fish. For Josiah's birthday we planned to add a few more fish, but got such a late start to dinner that we just ran out of time. We're still planning to pick up a few more fish tomorrow.

And today we celebrated his birthday at Sabbath School! There are 20-25 little kids in his class and Josiah is usually pretty shy, but he knew when he saw the table that it was HIS birthday and was very brave. Love this little guy!

Dear sweet Josiah, I love being your Mommy! Happy three years little guy!

Mother's Day 2014

I wanted to state, for the record, that I love being a mom. I used to think parenting would be a lot easier and a lot more fun, but then I had kids. It's hard work! I fail daily. But these three continue to love and trust me, I'm learning some profound and simple truths about parenting from the Bible and trying to apply them to daily living. Meanwhile, I'm understanding God's love for us in a much deeper sense, as the love toward your children is only a small sprinkle of how God loves you.

Anyway, I'm neither eloquent nor verbose, so moving on to a quick recap of my Mother's Day this year, the 7th one since becoming a mom!

We learned years ago to just not go out on Mother's Day. Places are extra crowded, many times there's a set (and expensive) menu, and it's just not relaxing. So we ate breakfast at home, then went to Lowe's where we got a few vegetable plants and flowers for some raised beds around our rental home. It was kind of cold and rainy, and most people were still out at various crowded, overpriced buffets, so Lowe's with my boys was fun!

This was a few weeks ago at the zoo. There are no deer-like creatures at our Lowe's!

I had mentioned to Gary that I wanted a picnic table for our back porch, and this little number was only $89! I love it!

Due to the rainy day, we didn't get the vegetables planted, but it got nice enough to grill and eat outside. Love it!

My three boys are all May babies, each one another Mother's Day gift to me! Since their birthdays are so close together, we usually do something for all of them together. Gary wanted to make a cake and we had a group gift to open from my mom, so we turned our Mother's Day grill-on-the-patio into a birthday celebration too. I don't mind sharing! (Um, and isn't that cake so cute! Good job, Sweetheart!)

Mom got the boys camping equipment! They got battery operated lanterns and their own mess kits, as well as one big tent to share! They are super excited, but so are Gary and I--such a great, practical gift that we plan to put to good use soon! Thanks so much, Grandma Joycie!

Unfortunately, a big nasty storm rolled in as we were finishing supper. Sirens and warnings everywhere, and according to a picture I saw the next day, this was the real deal and not too far away! We moved the party indoors where we thankfully have our bedrooms in the basement. The boys all share a bonus room so it's a large space with just their beds and dressers. Gary pushed the beds together to make room for their tent and the boys completely forgot about the thunder and lightning. They slept there that night and every night this week! 
So, that was Mother's Day 2014! Sweet and simple, just like I like them! Minus the tornadoes... 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jonathan's Birthday

As if one birthday boy wasn't enough, Jonathan's birthday was today!

We are now proud parents of a 7-year-old!

This morning before anyone came over for daycare, I took the three boys to get a hot chocolate at a nearby coffee shop.

Later in the morning, we took a long bike ride/walk around a little lake to a playground the boys like to visit.

It was farther away than most of our outings, so we took breaks to throw rocks and watch the birds. The weather was perfect!

Earlier in the week, Jonathan requested his dinner out to be at the Texas Roadhouse because they made a lot of noise for birthdays! Seriously, that was his reason for choosing the restaurant! It being a Friday night and Mother's Day weekend, we had to wait awhile. The boys ate peanuts--they love throwing the shells on the floor--and those amazing rolls, and we had a free appetizer, so by the time their real food came, they were pretty much full. Poor Jonathan was so nervous waiting for his birthday celebration! He couldn't sit still and completely lost his appetite! It was kinda funny, but still, I could empathize.

Finally they came out and he was so embarrassed that he almost didn't get on the funny saddle thing and at first refused to wear the cowboy hat! Poor guy! But he powered through the shyness and did it anyway. I'm proud of my boy!

Here's to many many more birthdays, to being brave, and seizing the opportunity! I love being your Mommy!


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